Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Highlights from a Trip to Cleveland

This past weekend we went up to Cleveland for the day. We've been wanting to go back to the Cleveland Art Museum, so this was a good chance. It was also a good opportunity to go to a couple of the family cemeteries to get pictures of some grandparents' graves.

The Faberge Imperial Egg was back on display, so we finally got to see that! Most impressive. I'm not much for the ancient artifacts, and we were all getting tired of the amount of nudity passed off as art, so we skipped a lot of the ancient collection. There was one thing that I did like though, and that was a marble bust of a little boy dating from somewhere between 1-100AD. One of my very favorite displays is a wood carving of a monk. This was made c.1620, if I am remembering correctly. It is all wood, save for the glass eyes, and is carved in pieces by multiple workmen. Those pieces are then assembled and painted to form the object as you see it. It's absolutely gorgeous. A real work of art.

One of the featured galleries is a display of etchings and sketches from John Taylor Arms. The sketches shown dated from about 1916 into the 1930s. What amazing work. I was really impressed and encourage you to look him up. The detail in his work is exquisite. They even had magnifying glasses in the room for you to get a close-up view. Wow! He even designed their own Christmas cards.

The museum is not without its fun connections, either! The first is a painting of the American West by Albert Bierstadt. Bierstadt's wife's grandfather was a Swetland (that's the family from Morrow County that Elizabeth has been researching). Cool, huh?! That's her standing beside it in the American Gallery.

The second fun connection is the museum's one Joshua Reynolds painting. It is a large portrait of the Ladies Amabel and Mary Jemima Yorke. They are first cousins of John Eliot's wife (Edward James' sister-in-law). We had some fun with that, and that's me standing by it. It's large, isn't it?

The armour court is a neat place. It's interesting that they have a real lack of anything British. The majority of the collection seems to be Germanic with a good dose of French. The center-piece is a full set of armour for man and horse, mounted on a horse statue as it would have been worn. There is a nice collection of swords, too. Puts me in mind of all the swashbuckling tales.

Last but not least, was a very cool painting from 1848 by British painter, John Linnell. It is called Noah: The Eve of the Deluge. What was so interesting was the fact that the ark is portrayed in a realistic fashion, of a large size with thousands of animals entering. It is obvious that the artist believed in the Genesis account of the Biblical Flood. Cool!

Well, that's all for now. Our telephone is finally fixed. The repairman came out today. Our telephone box was actually struck by lightning, and it has a surge protector that keeps the whole house from being affected. Nice precaution. It was this that needed to be fixed, which he did. So we're back in the electronic world. More later.

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